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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : May 7. A Forgiving Spirit

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"Forgive us our sins — as we have forgiven those who sin against us." Matthew 6:12

The first part of this petition, "forgive us our sins" is not so hard to say. Most people are willing to confess, at least in a general way — that they have sinned.

But the second part is harder to repeat: "as we have forgiven those who sin against us." When someone has done us an injury, and we are feeling bitter over it — then it is not so easy to ask God to forgive us — as we forgive. Perhaps we do not forgive at all — but keep the bitter feeling in our heart against our brother.

What is it, then, that we ask God to do for us when we pray, "Forgive us — as we forgive"? God has linked blessing and duty together in this petition. If we will not forgive those who have wronged us — it is evident that we have not the spirit of penitence to which God grants forgiveness of sins. If we would enjoy the sweet peace of God in our own hearts — we must keep our minds free from all bitterness and anger and all feelings of unforgiveness.

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